Tuesday, August 17, 2010
it has taken me several days to persuade herself to sit down and write this post. on this occasion this is not because she has been uber-busy. it is that she feels something of a twit. i don't see why this should prevent me from sharing what is, after all, a rather good story.
last week our car, together with its boot, was booked in for a service. it was not before time; the poor thing had developed an awful lot of squeaks and groans, what with bombing up and down to see the magnificent bonzo. hosses never live anywhere with a decent road. they prefer their digs to be situated at the end of a bumpy track like the surface of the moon, which, while it may suit a hoss, does not suit a car. our car is what is known as a 4 wheel drive, which in theory makes it more able to cope with the bumps. (i am not sure how you could drive a car with any less wheels. it would surely tip over? ) but in any event it needed a bit of tender loving care.
herself duly drove up to the garage where the work was to be done. as it was some way away, she had arranged to borrow a car from them for the day.
"you'll have to insure it yourself," said the car lady.
"that's fine, i'm covered in other people's cars," replied herself, confidently. the lady gave her the key to a little brand new red shiny car.
no sooner had herself turned the key in the ignition and let out the clutch than there was the sickening noise of scraping metal. herself applied the brakes. outside the driver's door was a cone. this in itself would have been innocent enough, but the cone hid a heavy metal post. i can only assume that the cone had been placed there to alert people to the existence of the post. how herself had managed to get into the car without falling over the cone is beyond me. the man from the garage said pretty much the same thing.
"you'll just have to claim on your insurance," said the man, "its going to need two new doors and quite a bit of other work."
herself gulped. when she said she was covered on other people's cars, what she meant was that she was covered if she bashed into other cars, not if she was stupid enough to bash into a stationary object. her insurance only allows her to bash into stationary objects if she is driving her own car.
"that's easy enough," said the man, "just ring your insurers and put temporary cover on our car, then later on ring them and tell them you have had a crash."
herself explained that in her line of work insurance fraud was frowned on. she also pondered on the irony of the situation. only the day before herself had spent some time telling my boy that under no circumstances was lying acceptable and that 'white lies' were still lies. this conversation had involved various examples of how to avoid being brutally truthful whilst not actually lying.
"if someone says 'does my bum look big in this?' you say something like 'that colour is lovely on you (if it is) rather than 'yes it looks huge!'" she explained.
"but you always say you want to know if your bum looks big!" protested my boy, truthfully.
"well, i do, but then you are my tame clothing adviser," said herself, "you have to be a bit more gentle with other people." i am not sure how much of the subtelty of all this sank in. my boy is not always terribly subtle.
herself did not trouble the garage man with discussions of morality. he did not seem to be that sort of man. the garage man showed her up some steps to a place where customers could sit and have a cup of coffee and read shiny magazines full of pictures of cars with no dents in them. eventually a more senior man came.
"its going to cost over a grand," he said. he showed herself a breakdown of the cost. even with them doing the work at cost price it was still £1,200. this is more than herself earns in a month. herself gulped again. the service would be another £500. there was no option but to take the little brand new red shiny car and drive around in it for the day. at least the door still opened and closed. herself took the precaution of ringing her insurers from the garage and putting the little brand new red shiny car on her insurance on the basis that just because she had stuffed one side of it in didn't mean that there wasn't another post out there waiting to stuff the other side in.
fortunately, himself is sitting on some money from a tax rebate. even more fortunately the money just covered the cost of the garage bill. less fortunately, himself does not like nasty surprises where money is concerned. or indeed at all. herself spent the whole day worrying about how he would react. as regular readers will know, himself is a man with something of a short fuse on certain occasions.
herself was a little wobbly when she got in. himself gave her a cuddle. herself mistook this for an ideal moment to drop her bombshell.
"you've what?" roared himself, backing away from her and standing behind the table, as though bashing into posts was a communicable disease.
"how much?!!" he continued, at a slightly higher volume. herself went off to have a bath. sometimes you are so much on the back foot that you are better off lying down...